Chocowinity hosts anniversary bash|Celebration sparks interest in alumni association

Published 9:01 pm Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lifestyles & Features Editor

CHOCOWINITY — The rains came Saturday afternoon, but the weather did little to dampen the enthusiasm of those celebrating the 50th anniversary of the incorporation of the town of Chocowinity.
The day-long event included an opening ceremony, a car show, a health clinic, sidewalk sales, a sock hop, carnival rides, vendors and a memorabilia exhibit.
The opening ceremony featured musical performances by the Chocowinity Middle School band and Crossroads. Speakers included Mayor Jimmy Mobley, who gave a brief history of the town.
The Chocowinity Recreation Complex was a focal point of the celebration with kids’ carnival rides and booths showcasing merchandise, food and services.
“It’s been warm, and we’ve had a good turnout. They just keep coming. It’s really great,” said Lacey Newman before rain storms moved in and curtailed some of the activities. Newman serves as assistant town clerk.
Vendors offered a variety of items for sale, including lawn furniture, jewelry, crafts, handmade purses and plants. Local churches, H &R Block and Beaufort County Farm Bureau also set up booths, some offering free bottled water and hand-held fans to combat the heat and humidity.
Town Hall was the site of the memorabilia exhibit, and volunteers reported a steady flow of visitors throughout the day.
“We’ve had a very good crowd,” said Anne Cutler Crumpler, a member of Chocowinity High School’s class of 1965 and a volunteer with the celebration staff. “We’ve had a lot of people looking through the yearbooks, looking at their class and then their daddy’s and mama’s. There were several from my graduating class, and we said we could have had a reunion right here today!”
Residents searched through their attics and storage trunks to find items to loan for the exhibit. On display were children’s toys from the 1930s and 40s, old ballot boxes from the voting booths, police department memorabilia, photographs and vintage quilts. A good portion of the exhibit was devoted to memorabilia from the former Chocowinity High School, including cheerleader uniforms, trophies and souvenirs from the collection of the late Clyde Harding, who was a longtime teacher and coach at the school.
Crumpler said the exhibit brought back happy memories. Her father, Arthur Cutler, was valedictorian of his class; in fact, she said four generations of her family attended Chocowinity High School, ending with her son, Tim Crumpler, who was a member of the class of 1996.
Becky Deans of the class of 1957 hopes the exhibit will inspire other former Chocowinity students to unearth their own mementos. A goal is to find a permanent home in which to display such items.
“We’d like to be able to rent a building for the displays where we could also have reunions,” Deans said. “And we’re trying to get enough people to form an alumni association to meet annually. We welcome whoever went to the old school, whether you graduated or not.”
*For more information about joining the CHS alumni association, contact Deans at or P.O. Box 266, Chocowinity, N.C. 27817.